Timothy J. Kent
Historical Author, Paddler, and Reenactor

 

 

 

 

 

Book Reviews

"A Time Machine of Birchbark and Buckskin...Part story, part painstaking historical research, and part a family photo album that takes the reader back in time, Kent's new book does something quite remarkable: it makes real to modern readers the skills and techniques used in the 1500s and 1600s...One has the odd feeling, looking at the pictures through the book, that one is looking back in time, watching this family negotiate a pristine landscape through hard work and carefully applied skills, but in relative comfort...In methodology, this book takes its place in the tradition of anthropologists like Thor Hyerdahl, who reconstructed ocean-going sailing vessels to reenact trips around the world made by ancient Polynesian and Egyptian voyagers. Kent's work is just as fascinating, and readily accessible to many Americans. Those interested in this period and this way of life will want this book...It deserves to be read by those who, in Kent's words, are willing 'to look back more often at the old ways, and ponder the value of those things which have been abandoned.'"-Canoe and Kayak Magazine

"The impressive product of a great deal of research...it demonstrates the real potential for 'living history research' as a legitimate complement to traditional history...Beautifully and aptly illustrated (blessedly, a camera was permitted among the traditional objects). It's unusual to be able to learn so much just looking at photographs...An extraordinary undertaking by someone with a passion for his roots, for discovery, and for the wondrous revelations of historical research."-Voyageur Magazine

"As a professional instructor of traditional lifeways, I am impressed by Kent's deep understanding of aboriginal skills. In addition, his extensive experience with early French items has allowed him to make fascinating discoveries and deductions about how European articles changed native life...Through years of paddling adventures and living history reenactments, the author and his family have learned to think in many ways like the native and French people who lived three centuries ago. This book is a fascinating peek into that ancient world."-Jim Miller, Willow Winds Primitive Skills Workshops

"At the Hudson's Bay Company Archives, we are often asked about material on canoes and voyageurs and on life and work in the fur trade. Before Birchbark Canoes of the Fur Trade and Tahquamenon Tales appeared, it was hard to know what to suggest. Since then, we have happily recommended them as well-researched and documented source books. They are appealing both to the general reader and the serious student of the fur trade culture and lifeways."-Anne Morton, Head of Research and Reference

"This is a gem...an absorbing study of life long gone. Reading it will make you richer."-Nastawgan, Canadian Wilderness Canoe Association

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